Many hotels live and die by the conventions and meetings they attract. For convention-oriented hotels, events can account for as much as 60 percent of room revenue, and even some luxury hotels can attribute over a third of their sales to events.

Given that so much revenue is wrapped up in group business, hotel executives have no choice but to entice event planners with highly competitive rates and terms. But at what point does enticement become excessive?

In an attempt to land a contract for a big convention, a hotel should not forgo certain protections. As everyone in the hospitality industry knows, meetings rarely come off exactly as planned.

If a third of the participants don't show up, for instance, or the meeting is cancelled due to weather, or a large banquet for 200 becomes an intimate dinner for 25, what will the hotel be paid and by whom?

Given that so much is at stake, negotiations between meeting planners and hoteliers have grown more complex in recent years. Event contracts have lengthened, with each side adding language to best protect its interests.

While such contracts may seem troublesome, the more that issues are discussed and negotiated prior to an event, the less likely it is that disputes will arise later on.

Get the full story at the Baltimore Business Journal